Inventor of the telephone: mobile is an extension of the person

American engineer M.Artin Cooper, inventor of the mobile phone, believes that this device “has become an extension of the person” and that we are “only at the beginning” of the changes that await us, and imagine a future with mobiles adapted to each one and even integrated into the body.

Cooper (Chicago, 1928), who this week was recognized for his career in the Mobile World Congress (MWC) -the largest mobile technology event in the world that has been held in the Spanish city of Barcelona (northeast)-, will also go down in history for having made the first mobile phone call.l, which was produced on April 3, 1973.

Almost 50 years after that historic moment, Cooper recalls in an interview with EFE thatWho was the recipient of that call made with a Motorola DynaTac 8000Xa “zapatófono” of almost one kilo that It took 10 hours to charge and barely had 30 minutes of autonomy.

Cooper dialed the number of his competitor counterpart, Joel Engel, then head of the research department at Bell Laboratories. He chose to call the rival company, he says, because Bell at the time treated Motorola with a certain amount of contempt, as if they didn’t know what they were doing. “Joel, I’m calling from a cell phone. From a real one,” he told her. And then there was “silence” on the other end of the line, he recalls.

“We did not imagine that there would be digital cameras or the Internet, but we did know that one day everyone would have a cell phone,” Cooper assures.

At 94 years old, Cooper, Prince of Asturias Award winner in 2009, has become a celebrity in this edition of the MWC. Not surprisingly, he was the inventor of the mobile walking through the mobile congress and everyone recognized those stripes.

Yes already in 1973 He proved to be a futurist, he continues with that same mentality and it portends that there is still a long way to go.

From the outset, mark distances with current mobiles: “I don’t like smartphones very much. I don’t think they are very smart“, he thinks.

He considers that mobile phones today try to provide too many functions to the entire population, without customizing, and that the ideal would be for them to know what you want to do and do it automatically, without you having to look for an application.

Regarding the future that awaits us with mobile phones, he predicts: “We are only at the very beginning” and predicts that they will help us to solve big current problems.


He believes that they will increase efficiency and productivity and thus contribute to “eliminating poverty.”

Second, they will contribute to the education, since they will make the information available to everyone. “Teachers will have to teach how to discriminate useful information from misinformation,” she says.

And finally, he considers that they will play a “crucial” role in health matters. “In the future, thanks to the fact that the mobile is an extension of the person, it will be monitoring you all the time. And when you start to get sick, before you are, your mobile will transmit that information to a computer and you will be notified to go see a doctor or to be cured, and the disease will not occur,” he says.

Still, Cooper admits that mobile phones have downsides, too. “The (lack) of privacy is the main risk” of current technology, to which must be added the addiction “to screens”, he specifies, although he believes that the positive aspects clearly outweigh the negatives.


In the new technological revolution that is yet to come, imagine a personalized mobile, adapted to the needs of those who use it and capable of “anticipating what you want” thanks to artificial intelligence.

Cooper, whose cell phone is connected to his hearing aid, wirelessly, ensures that the device of the future should adapt to the function performed and the specific needs of each person.

“For me, the ideal would be for the phone to be embedded under your skin, under your ear. With a computer inside. It wouldn’t need a battery because your body would already be a battery. And when you want to talk to someone and say ‘put Joe on the phone ‘ the computer would do (…) instead of picking up a piece of plastic and placing it against your head, holding it in an awkward position,” he says.

“But you’ll also have patches or made-up things that will measure things on your body,” he says.

Along the same lines, he predicts a future with a personalized mobile, adapted to the characteristics of each one, “because the mobile will be looking for diseases that are related to your genetics,” he adds as a continuation of this futuristic story.

And when the journalist asks if it can’t be dangerous for your health to carry all that in your body, Cooper smiles and argues that he already has a knee replacement or false teeth.

“The fact is that humans have better brains, but we are flawed. We don’t smell as well as a dog. (…) So why shouldn’t we incorporate things into our bodies?” he wonders.

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J. A. Allen

Author, blogger, freelance writer. Hater of spiders. Drinker of wine. Mother of hellions.

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